Noteworthy

Where Is Christianity with Casey Anthony?

I have to admit, the Casey Anthony trial was not on my radar the last few years or even during the insanity of the last few weeks when it seemed like half the country had gone mad with grief over the jury’s verdict.

But in recent days, I’ve noticed a trend on national and local news and even with “Friends” on Facebook. That trend is the harsh cry for “justice” to be done, for Casey Anthony to get what’s coming to her.  Now, I’m all for punishing the guilty (when found guilty) and holding people accountable, but what I’ve seen lately verges on Old Testament fundamentalism.  Have you ever noticed how people want justice for others and mercy for themselves?

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” seems to fit here.  I know, I know: these are Gandhi’s words and not Christ’s, but the peaceful message rings clear and true just the same.  After all, Paul’s letter to the Philippians says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Instead, hateful speech and a mislabeling of God’s will is what I see pervading thoughts and being spread across the internet.  Are Christians blinding themselves trying to put out Casey’s eye?

This should come as no surprise, but I don’t personally know Casey Anthony and suspect I never will.  She is a stranger to me.  But screaming “Baby killer” and holding signs that say “You’re going to Hell” or “Your judgment is coming” wouldn’t suggest one is trying to bridge a gap to her heart. It doesn’t form a personal relationship with her, and it certainly doesn’t
seem like a merciful form of proselytizing.

Don’t misconstrue my position.  I am in no way defending Casey Anthony’s actions, no more than I should defend my own sinful nature.  What I am saying is that we all fall short.  And I for one don’t want a crowd of people telling me that I am going to Hell each time I sin.  Thankfully I have a still, small voice inside that calls me to repent and a group of close friends to keep me accountable.  And anyway, that kind of thing wouldn’t bring me closer to the person of Christ.  I’m also pretty sure those who promote this message aren’t brought closer to Him by it either.

My prayer is that Casey Anthony comes to know Jesus as her savior.  That she will repent and be forgiven for whatever sins she has committed. That one day she and her daughter will be reunited in perfect love.

Now that would be a story worth covering.

In His name

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5 thoughts on “Noteworthy

  1. The real question is how do we reach out to the Casey Anthonys and Elisa Bakers of the world without condoning their actions? Furthermore, how do we create an overflow of Jesus’ love toward the people who personally sin against us? Especially since none of our sins are any smaller than the ones Ms. Anthony is accused of. You’ve given us a lot to think about. Great insights!

  2. I like that you’ve started a blog, Knopper. I was told to start one of my own instead of letting my subconscious spit out inarticulate messages on my Facebook profile. To which my subconscious replied: “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!! BLLLACCCH!!! GRRRRR!!”

    I said to you on the phone once (paraphrased) that I, like you, was searching for Truth. I’ve always admired that about you. That and your writing talent, which is obviously superior to mine. (I prefer solving ODE’s and triple integrals). Just want you to know that before I write criticisms on your blog comment section.

    I didn’t pay attention to the Casey Anthony trial. I only read a few articles on it. From what I read, she seemed guiltier than a Chris Hanson interviewee. (I believe she’s a sick, twisted individual too.) I also read that the prosecutors royally screwed up. They didn’t present enough evidence for the jury to convict. I would have liked a guilty verdict and the maximum penalty. I think the prosecutors pushed for the death penalty, which might have been a stretch when seeking a successful conviction.

    Can I take a guess at a more subtle question that is at the center of your blog? Good! Because here it goes… Is it acceptable to use violence or death as a means to establish Justice? To answer that question, ‘Justice’ must be defined. I don’t profess to be a scholar in this department, but I believe that it is best practiced when it respects the Rights of each individual and promotes a civil society. I agree that simply saying “an eye for an eye” isn’t enough. At the same time, to never punish immoral behavior is to promote chaos and anarchy. I worry that you’re opinion leans in that direction. Then again, I’ve been known to misread things. Am I wrong? If yes, correct me. If no, is there no situation where you see violence as an unwanted, but necessary tool to protect innocent people?

    • To be clear, my message is not one that promotes chaos and anarchy. The god I know is one of order and form, of power and justice. But also of grace. I believe he loves Casey as much today as he did when she was born, and that he wants us to reflect that love to her as well. That doesn’t mean wrong doing is neglected. Quite the opposite. When people do the wrong thing, punishment (whatever form it takes) is a required and necessary part of lovingly bringing that person to understand the fault of their actions. It is a form of wise counsel and a protection to society as well as to the one in the wrong. To continue in punishment beyond what the law requires, however, isn’t New Testament theology.

      You may argue that our justice system failed, and you may certainly be right. But I would argue that perfect justice will never be found in our society. We live in a broken world full of broken people who dispense broken justice. So to add to its brokenness by hurting our own walk with God — by speaking out of anger instead of love, by protesting the speck in another’s eye when there’s a log in our own — this is what my piece was really about.

      The use of violence to promote justice is an unintended and tangential topic – related, but far from the meat of the message.

      • Tangent #2: To be honest, I thought the justice system operated the way is was supposed to. We’ll never have a perfect system. The way ours is designed is the best so far, highlighting: everyone’s right to a fair trial, innocent until proven guilty, etc. It’s not often we see verdicts like Casey Anthony’s (CA). I guess the last big one was the O.J. trial, but I was too young and too uninterested at the time to remember the details. Sometimes I think the ‘brokenness’ of the justice system is overstated because of these highly-publicized trials. Anyways…

        I think I understand, at least to a degree, your point(s) now. In part, it’s a criticism of the protestors. Specifically, it’s a criticism because they’re Christian and they’re protesting in an un-Christian manner. While I’m in the process of studying The Bible, I haven’t even gotten through the Old Testament yet. I have an idea about what it means to be Christian, but I feel like I should not speak about it until I finish. Looking at them objectively, the actions of the CA protestors make me uncomfortable, no question. At the same time, I’ve seen worse, like the Westboro Baptist Church creatures.

        I’m, personally, not interested in bridging the gap to CA’s heart. I believe that most people qualify for that treatment. The rest have completely severed their contract with humanity and should be punished, not out of hate, but out of defense. It’s a tribute to you that you believe she can be saved. You may be right and that would make a great story. It’s my nature to be less confident about ability of people like CA to self-reflect. I have more confidence in the protestors to do that. Is that why you criticized them instead of CA? Do you believe they are more likely to have their gap bridged? After all, their sins are nowhere near that of CA’s.

        One more SMACK on the dead horse… Speaking of magnitudes, I do not understand the ‘log and speck’ reference. CA’s sin isn’t a speck in my mind, it’s a log. The protestors’ (or ‘ours’, for that matter) sins are most likely nowhere near that of CA’s and they aren’t to be added together to form a ‘log’. Each person is responsible for his own sin, right? If, by this log and speck’ comment, you’re suggesting that CA is morally equivalent to the rest of us, I might have to start a protest outside your house. 🙂 But I’ve misread you before…

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